Surviving the Major Chunk of Midterms: Bouchon, Grandaisy, Prem-On Thai
For the past week, I had three midterms and a ten-page paper due, all crammed within four days. I was suffering with stress that I want to scream in vexation due to my aching head. Isn’t college life just awesome? At least I survived the roughest week and there’s a little sprinkling of tests for the next two weeks, which the last one would be two days before my birthday. At least my professors spared me of pain and torture on that day. Thankfully.
On Monday, I didn’t get a chance to eat breakfast at home, so I head over to Bouchon for the sake of having something before I pass out in class due to low blood sugar levels and my need for caffeine since I stayed up ’til 1 AM; having 4 1/2 hours of sleep isn’t fun.
I know…I said I’ll stop going to Bouchon but then again, they’re kind of my savior for the week since my stressed mind doesn’t want to think where I could eat as well as where I haven’t been to.
I ended up choosing their Season Danish that contains pureed squash, sweetened with maple syrup. Sounds interesting, hence why I bought it and the requirement of a cup of coffee. As you see from the above and below photos, the natural lighting was very harsh that day, explaining why the food photos look a bit less photogenic than it would be.
The danish was very good. Soft, buttery, slightly chewy, and somewhat flaky danish, swirled with the smooth, almost nutty squash. It’s not terribly sweet and nicely spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg, I presume. Interesting take on a danish, when squash is usually used in savory dishes. The coffee, as always, nicely bold, smooth, strong and a bit fruity.
After relishing half an hour of peace, I have to skedaddle to class and take a midterm.
After classes on Tuesday, I was craving for something sandwich-y. I ended up going to Grandaisy Bakery in SoHo for their sandwiches and dessert for a late lunch…around 2:15.
As I enter this awesome bakery, they still have sandwiches (since the Sullivan Street Bakery in Hell’s kitchen usually makes a batch and stops making more if they ran out when I went there last time), their usual pizzas, delicious loaves of bread, and desserts. But what really caught my eye besides my want of a sandwich was their bread pudding. Yes, after meeting and hanging out with Kathy for a while, her love of bread pudding has rubbed on to me.
Since I never had their bread pudding before, I asked the guy behind the counter, “What’s in it?” He replied, brioche and a couple of other things but then another person intervened and said, “Just give out a sample.” So the guy who’s helping me, cut out a chunk of bread pudding and handed it out to me. After taking a bite of the dense, creamy, custardy pudding, I told him, “I’ll take one!” Along with a bresaola sandwich and a bottle of water.
The sandwich was very delicious. It’s light yet filling with a good ratio of filling to bread. The bread was chewy with a touch of crisp crust, the bresaola was paper-thin with the slightest touch of salt from its drying stages, and it’s also filled with salty slices of Parmesan cheese and spicy, peppery arugula.
I usually don’t order bread pudding since I know how to make it myself and it’s much cheaper to do so. But since Kathy’s enthusiasm of bread pudding was somehow whispering in my mind, I wanted it. Anyways, this bread pudding was very delicious, and as I have said earlier, it’s just sweet, dense, creamy, with a gelatinous texture from the eggy cubes of bread. For $4, it’s quite a generous portion, since after eating my sandwich and this pudding, my stomach felt like I ate a brick. Probably I should have eaten half of it, but I can’t help it.
Then on Thursday, I visited a new bakery in the Lower East Side, called How Sweet It Is, a new, adorable, precious gem that had opened yesterday that one of the co-owners, Beth told me that last night they just had their Friends & Family event, so this was considered a “soft opening.” Especially after what the NY Times article published on Wednesday, which I read and got interested in coming over in the first place. I’ll write about it in detail on my next post just because I have too many photos (don’t worry, it won’t be a 100% photos post).
This place was pretty much empty (except for one table that is occupied except mine) since it is 2:15 in the afternoon, way past the normal lunch hour rush and it’s cold and rainy outside. Even though there are only a few diners, it’s exempted from silence since there’s clubby, dance music playing in the background and to distract the lone waiters and diners, can watch a baseball game that is displayed by the bar.
Taking a look at their lunch menu, it’s limited but their lunch tops off at $10, all served with the a complimentary appetizer, which isn’t so bad. I ended up choosing the Tom Kah Gai and the Pla Rad Prik for lunch.
Pretty soup, no? This coconut milk-based chicken soup gives a warm feeling to my palate and my body since it was so chilly outside. The soup isn’t very heavy with coconut milk, it’s just enough for the silky creaminess and for taste. It’s spicy enough to feel a slight burn in the back of my throat. The soup also contained white button mushrooms, chopped green and red bell peppers, a few chunks of chicken, and fried garlic sprinkled on top. Not bad but it didn’t blow me away.
The Pla Rad Prik, which means fish in chili, was served in a pretty presentation, albeit a bit on the small side in portions. This dish is basically fried red snapper fillet lacquered with a garlic-y, tamarind, chili based sauce. It’s sweet, savory, spicy, with a touch of sour in every bite. Good, tasty, and not greasy but it doesn’t make me swoon.
So, that’s it for the week. I’ll write up about the bakery, How Sweet It Is very soon…
10 Columbus Circle, 3rd Floor
New York, NY 10019
73 Sullivan Street
New York, NY 10012
138 W Houston Street
New York, NY 10012